News from Uganda always reminds me of the Arkansas angle.
The news was a Uganda court decision to strike down a punitive anti-gay law that has brought international condemnation to the country.
The news is cause for only limited cheer (my emphasis added).
Uganda’s government, which is tightly controlled by President Yoweri Museveni, a former guerrilla fighter who has ruled for 28 years, did not immediately indicate if it was going to appeal the court’s ruling.
Mr. Museveni has stubbornly supported the anti-gay measure, despite international outcry and cuts in aid from several Western governments, and he may well try to resurrect the law. He has called gays “mercenaries” and said they are more likely to get sexually transmitted diseases and stomach worms. Some Ugandan legal scholars were hoping that Mr. Museveni would use the court’s ruling as convenient cover and drop what has turned into a diplomatic headache for him.
A law supported by Museveni had called for the death penalty for gays.
As the international criticism grew, and Western countries prepared to cut millions of dollars in aid, the Ugandan government modified the bill to make “aggravated homosexuality” punishable by life in prison, though that hardly placated Western donors. Parliament passed the bill in December, with advocates calling it an “early Christmas gift.” Mr. Museveni publicly signed it into law in February. At the time, he said that “homosexuals are nurtured but not natured,” and that he could not understand how gay men could not be attracted “to all these beautiful women.”
The local angle? What else but extremist Republican Sen. Jason Rapert, a great admirer of President Museveni. Rapert operates a ministry that does projects in Uganda. He said on one occasion of a Museveni statement about the country’s inglorious past:
I applaud the president of Uganda for his humility and courage – his nation will be blessed through his sincerity
Gay people may be forgiven for having some concerns about the president’s sincerity. Time for Bro. Jason to step up. Time for him to call for his brother in Christ, President Museveni, to applaud the court decision and to reject further attempts to criminalize homosexuality. He should call for the president’s blessings to also be extended to gay people in Uganda, where a gay man who spoke up for rights was beaten to death.
Twitter on, Bro. Jason.